Riding the wave of success with shockwaves—a shareholder of ImpulsTec GmbH since day one, HOCH.REIN is now increasing its financial involvement. Because it believes in the technology.
A market-ready product? Check. Investors onboard? Check. Pilot customers? Check. ImpulsTec can confidently tick all the boxes on nearly every startup’s to-do list. The young engineering company has stepped in to shake up the crusher market with innovative shockwave technology. It develops and builds high-voltage systems that use mechanical shockwaves to separate all kinds of products and materials into their various components, and thus enable them to be recycled. Although the technology is still very new in Germany, both HOCH.REIN and MBG were convinced of its potential soon after ImpulsTec’s founding. In 2015, MBG invested fresh capital in the company to encourage market development. And was successful, with initial fragmentation systems being built for paying customers soon after. ImpulsTec has now let its startup childhood behind, prompting MBG to do what all parents one day have to: It let its baby go. And in the summer of this year, it sold its company shares to HOCH.REIN GmbH.
The product of the Research & Development department of a photovoltaics group, ImpulsTec began its business operations in 2014. Since then, it has been a provider of industrial fragmentation systems and associated services. Each system is designed taking into account customer-specific applications and process chains, and the engineers conduct intensive test series and feasibility studies during the predevelopment stage. But this is hardly possible without financial backup during the start-up phase. In order to raise capital, ImpulsTec’s founders turned to MBG, whose investment manager Martin Liebsch today retrospectively explains that “the shockwave-fragmentation technology for well-sorted recycling of composite materials sparked our interest in an investment right from the very first customer pitch, and is setting new standards. The technology underlines the fact that Saxon innovations are not just successful at a business level, but also significantly contribute to the ecological footprint in our state, and now also around the world.” Liebsch adds that the team of founders have also been found to be absolute experts in their field. But it wasn’t just praise that MBG had for ImpulsTec; it also had capital, which ultimately manifested in the form of an open, silent partnership.
MBG’s financing was an essential initial helping hand, as ImpulsTec co-CEO Stefan Eisert explains: “MBG supported ImpulsTec as a reliable partner during the high-tech company’s establishment phase. The provided investment capital helped create sales structures and initiate marketing measures to increase the innovative shockwave-fragmentation technology’s visibility on the market.” Eisert also mentions the fields of application associated with the new fragmentation process: “Another cornerstone of the investment was the notion of further technological development and practicality for future markets such as electronic scrap, lithium-ion batteries, solar modules, and semiconductor materials.” These areas are where the benefits of ImpulsTec’s material-selection approach become fully apparent: Unlike in conventional processes, the initial products are not simply crushed; they are instead split into their individual material components. This is achieved through electrohydraulically generated sound waves that are transmitted to the material interfaces through a liquid. In this way, it is possible to break something like a Smartphone down into its plastic case, the PCB, and electrical components. But the technology can also be used in cases where an individual material is pulverized into varying grain sizes with strict purity requirements.
With its knowledge of the unique selling points and wide range of possible applications offered by sound-wave technology, it is no surprise that HOCH.REIN GmbH is now increasing its investment. HOCH.REIN CEO Guido Gerlach sees great growth potential for ImpulsTec: “We believe in the idea, and will continue to advance this. ImpulsTec strikes the very essence of the HOCH.REIN philosophy, which is to identify technologies, promote development, and make them market-ready. Recycling is today gaining in importance, particularly when it comes to buzzwords like conservation and sustainability. The ImpulsTec technology takes into account precisely this, because the materials are only separated via intense compressional waves and little use of energy, thereby enabling the individual raw materials to be reused.” MBG CEO Markus H. Michalow notes the inspiration and drive this has provided for the regional economy, adding that “selling our shares to our strategic partner HOCH.REIN GmbH has enabled us to make additional, necessary investments in ImpulsTec’s growth, and has also created a number of new jobs in Radebeul, with MBG Saxony living up to its pioneering role for future investments.” As such, there is every reason to be confident about the fact that ImpulsTec, backed by HOCH.REIN, will successfully continue what MBG helped encourage.